Baby Green

Young green Heron (Butorides virescens) Photo Phil Rowntree

Photographer Phil Rowntree, whose work will be familiar to regular readers, caught this very interesting portrait of a young Green Heron on the southeast border of the park. We have seen young Black-crowned Night Herons here, but rarely see the Green Heron, and never saw a young one before. This one still has bits of baby down stuck to his head. Here’s another view:

Young green Heron (Butorides virescens) Photo Phil Rowntree

So evidently this one’s parents are breeding around here somewhere, which is great news. They prefer nesting in trees, sometimes quite high up. They eat fish and whatever other aquatic proteins they can catch. Their hunting method is to stand perfectly still and wait for prey to come within range; then comes a lightning strike. They’re given high credit for intelligence because they may float bread crumbs, little sticks, dead insects and other small objects in the water in front of them as bait to attract little fish. Very few birds do that.

More about them: Wikipedia Cornell Audubon In Chavez Park

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